Convenience stores

Convenience stores can only sell to customers within 500 meters

The MOIT is gathering opinions on the draft circular relating to the classification and management of certain types of commercial infrastructure.

These commercial establishments would be sanctioned if their classification was incorrect.

Commercial establishments can be classified as supermarkets if they have commercial locations suitable for the development plan, and have a size and a commercial organization meeting the basic criteria for one of the three categories of supermarkets, or convenience stores.

A first-class general supermarket, for example, must have commercial premises of 3,500 m² or more and carry at least 20,000 items. As for specialized supermarkets, they must have commercial premises of at least 1,000 m² and sell at least 2,000 product references.

Mini-markets must have a trading area of ​​80 square meters or more, and the list of trading goods must include at least 500 items.

Prime shopping malls must have commercial premises of 50,000 m² or more. The figures are 30,000 m² and 10,000 m² respectively for the second and third classes.

Regarding convenience stores, the draft MOIT documents indicate that these commercial premises are between 30 and 200 m² and mainly serve customers within a radius of less than 500 meters.

According to the Vietnam Confederation of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), in general, the classification and naming of business models are implemented by companies themselves in order to promote their brands and help consumers recognize them. . The state should only intervene if sellers exploit the ambiguity of denominations and cause misunderstandings.

If commercial establishments do not comply with the regulations stipulated in the circular, they will be punished in accordance with the law.

For example, laws should impose heavy fines on commercial establishments that misclassify dietary supplements and drugs.

However, there are no examples of misuse of commercial infrastructure names. If a small grocery store presents itself as a supermarket, it will not be able to sell more goods or sell goods at higher prices. Consumers are not mistaken. Therefore, VCCI believes that it is not necessary to properly name business establishments.

If the classification is only used for statistical work, it is not necessary to have a regulation on the sanction of companies.

VCCI asked the document compilation agency to explain the need for the document, believing that it is not urgent.

According to VCCI, the draft circular contains regulations that will interfere with businesses’ commercial freedom and increase business costs. Cost increases will lead to higher product prices and lower profits for companies.

The draft document says that all supermarkets, mini-markets, shopping malls and outlets must have parking areas for customers. This requirement would increase operating costs and reduce the flexibility of business models.

In principle, stores with parking areas can provide convenience to customers, and they will attract more customers and have higher revenue. And stores without parking areas would lose customers.

In other words, the market itself will determine this issue without state intervention.

According to the draft document, first- and second-class supermarkets must have catering and entertainment services, while shopping malls must reserve space for entertainment activities, have office space for rent, and have space for financial and banking activities.

The proposed regulations, according to the VCCI, will create a high level of intervention in companies’ freedom to conduct business.

The business space depends on the requirements of the customers and the capacity of the companies. Businesses and consumers will adapt themselves to their conditions.

VCCI also proposed scrapping the proposed bylaw that convenience stores can only serve customers within 500 meters, saying the bylaw is not workable because convenience store owners do not know where their customers live.